French mountaineers scale Terichmir
CHITRAL: A team of two French mountaineers scaled Tirich
Mir, the highest mountain of the Hindu Kush range, on Wednesday.
The peak was surmounted last time in 2001 by an Italian team.
The climbers, Quillet Thomas, 28, and Jerome Chazelas, 35, both
electrical engineers, told reporters here on Friday that they had
planned to scale Mir peak last year.
They said after staying at the base camp called Babu Camp at the
altitude of 4,700 meters for two days to acclimatise, they moved to
the first camp at 5,200 meters height.
The climbers said the second camp was located at the altitude of
6,000 meters and the third one at 6,700 meters, where they spent
two days due to the inclement weather, especially blizzards.
They added that from the last camp, which was located at the height
of 7,200 meters, they climbed to the summit of the mountainís peak
at an elevation of 7,708 meters in six hours, the most dangerous
and toughest phase of the expedition during which their
determination faltered many times.
The mountaineers said they stayed at the mountainís peak for 26
minutes and found the weather cloudy with winds blowing fast.
They said the weather report sent in by the Met Office, Islamabad,
over the satellite telephone was a great help, a facility, which
their predecessors didnít have.
The climbers said they were reluctant to travel to Pakistan over
security concerns but when they reached Pakistan and traveled
around, they found the security situation quite different from
which they had heard about.
They said the area from Islamabad to Tirich valley was all peaceful
and calm and that they never feared for their safety. The
mountaineers said they would advise other foreigners to visit
Pakistan, especially its northern parts.
Abdur Razzaq, managing director of Tirich Mir Travels, a private
tour operator, said a three-member Russian team was set to climb
He said mountaineering had resumed in the region after a break of
15 years and thus, increasing the chances of tourism promotion.